NV20: Archive

1 h 49 min  |  Thriller, Sci-fi, Night Visions  |  Release Date: 3.3.2021

Rating: 12

"An under-the-radar indie science fiction film whose mix of accessible themes and strong execution make it worthy of broader exposure, Gavin Rothery's Archive watches as a robot designer tries to exploit his job with a megacorporation for a very personal goal: He wants to build a robot shell for the computer-archived memories and personality of his dead wife. The feature writing/directing debut for a man whose history is in art departments, it should be no surprise that the pic looks wonderful, with distinctive design and lush settings; but Rothery also fares well with the human element, helped by a mature lead performance by Theo James, best known for the YA Divergent franchise. --- Rothery's computerized-afterlife premise riffs on a zeitgeisty notion explored most recently in Greg Daniels' Upload series, but the film echoes the cinema of artificial humans more broadly, from Ex Machina and Westworld back to 2001 and Metropolis. Rothery draws less attention to the profundity of his material than many of his predecessors do (though not light-hearted, the pic also doesn't strain for gravitas), but he's smart about his themes in ways that can't really be identified without ruining some of the film." - John DeFore / The Hollywood Reporter

"Archive proves to be quite the rare beast: an intellectual sci-fi film that is not only watchable but enjoyable. --- One of the first things you’ll notice about Archive is its retro-futuristic feel. The art design has a very 1980s aesthetic, which helps convey just how old this bunker is. But at the same time, everything makes sense. --- Theo James and Rhona Mitra, who plays a crucial role I don’t dare reveal, are both amazing." - Enrique Acosta / Film Threat

"Debut writer/director Rothery, who comes from the art department world, draws from various sci-fi movies to create the forlorn look of Archive. Its influences can be traced back to movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Blade Runner in the way it blends American characters against the backdrop of a Japanese restaurant and big light-up ads. Plus, some robot designs from Star Wars and Metropolis are thrown into a narrative mix of Ex Machina meets Solaris. The themes of those latter two movies are certainly prevalent." ”Brims with bold ideas, and recycles some old ones, to pour a solid foundation for philosophical sci-fi tinged with twisty tension” - Ian Sedensky / Culture Crypt

"Archive honors the great sci-fi visuals of the past and pushes modern sci-fi a little farther into the future" - Drew Tinnin / Dread Central

Directed by Gavin Rothery / Cast: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Toby Jones, Peter Ferdinando, Lia Williams

USA 2020


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